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A look at the best and worst of Frank Gehry’s past mega-projects

When David Mirvish and Frank Gehry announced their major King West redevelopment plans earlier this month, Mirvish said the pair weren’t building three condo towers—they were creating “sculptures for people to live in.” However, the poetics didn’t quash concerns about whether the Theatre District’s infrastructure can sustain the 2,600 new condo units or whether anyone will buy the apartments in an already saturated market. For Gehry, though, those issues aren’t new. Over the past decade, the Harvard-educated architect has proposed similarly grand designs in New York, his hometown of L.A., and overseas—all of which have been met with a certain degree of trepidation. Some ultimately lived up to their promise, becoming iconic, landmark buildings, while a tough economy and high costs have delayed others (a track record that has raised questions about whether his Toronto project will ever even happen). Here, we examine five of the starchitect’s past residential projects, and see how his Mirvish plans compare.

Check out Gehry’s triumphs and flops »

(Images: Frank Gehry, Larry Marano/Getty Images Entertainment; rendering of King Street East proposal, Gehry International, Inc.)

  • urbane

    Gehry doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Toronto. He designs buildings as statements about his enormous ego — hence their size. That he and Mirvish teamed together to suggest yet more condos in Toronto shows that they both are unbelievably out of touch in a city where there a glut of the monstrosities. Keep Gehry out of the city. No more characterless condos please — we can leave that to Brad Lamb. If Mirvish requires some place to display his personal art collection — the result of money he made on his father’s coattails — then let him buy one of the empty downtown condos.

 

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